NTF Issue Paper: Illegal42.1doc. 3-15.

Several years ago, State Sen. Ray Aguilar (Grand Island) introduced LB 266 into the Unicameral, a proposal to issue driving permits to illegal aliens, supposedly to alleviate the problem of uninsured drivers. State senators soundly defeated his bill. Now, State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, with LB 623, wants illegal aliens amnestied by President Obama to have access to drivers licenses and ID cards. This deferred amnesty covers children who have entered the U.S. at age 15 or younger, lived here before June 15, 2012, and are at least 15 years old and in high school or high school graduates. Nordquist states that taxpayers must assist these illegals in school and at work by offering them driving privileges, though illegal aliens take jobs and university slots from legal NE citizens. Approximately 2,700 illegal aliens could obtain licenses.

A 2009 NE law bans public benefits to illegal aliens residing here. Conservatives pressed for this law, because giving licenses to illegals would risk their improperly obtaining welfare and other benefits and ease their voting illegally. We must not bestow another government benefit as a reward for illegality. There exists no federal or state constitutional requirement to offer licenses to illegals or their right to such. Federal law forbids illegals from establishing legal residence in any state, making them automatically ineligible for drivers licenses. Certification will blur the distinction between legal Nebraska citizens and illegal aliens. Nebraskans regard a drivers license as a valid ID card. It is an essential instrument to legitimize presence here and move freely around our state. These licenses serve as proof of ID on forms that employers must complete to ascertain that new employees legally are eligible to work here. With license and stolen or phony SS card, an illegal can obtain a job and other necessities. Licenses given illegals would serve as primary documents that allow them to obtain additional ID materials, purchase firearms, access welfare, and vote, based on a false notion that they are legal resident citizens. Recall that all of the 9-11 terrorist hijackers held drivers licenses and state ID cards, which they used to open bank accounts, pay rent, and buy airline tickets. Terrorists conceivably could use Nordquist licenses to rent trucks and load them with flammables or hazardous materials to use as weapons. So dangerous is this prospect that Rep. Tom Tancredo (CO.) introduced a House resolution to withhold federal highway funds from states that pass laws allowing illegals to gain driving privileges. Offering illegals the privilege of a drivers license will not guarantee that they will buy vehicle insurance or drive safely and thus not improve road safety. Illegal aliens drive our roads now, many without insurance. Implementing background checks on the amnestied might prove ineffective, if relying on suspect foreign documentation like a matricula consular card issued by Mexican consulates. DMV employees should not have to transform into immigration agents to understand which documents they may accept as proof of lawful residence. Because jury selection utilizes DMV names, these illegal aliens could serve on jury duty, participating in judicial decisions affecting other illegal aliens and citizens alike.

INVITING FRAUD. Nordquist and his allies, including the ACLU-NE and Appleseed Center, contend that issuing licenses will accommodate illegals born here, but others who broke our law to enter the U.S. might continue to break our laws and obtain licenses under phony names. Such licenses now effective in other states have become controversial. Idaho State Sen. Cecil Ingram told a public hearing, “This has turned out to be a bigger problem than I thought.” Illegal aliens easily use their current fraudulent documents to confirm residency. They register vehicles in names of others. Illegals flocked by the busload and vanload from other states, sometimes in groups organized by crime syndicates, to states like Kentucky and Tennessee, where they easily could obtain drivers licenses. Tennessee is considering legislation to require drivers license applicants to show a valid document proving that they legally reside there. Florida and Kentucky stopped issuing licenses to illegals in 2002, Virginia in 2003. Mississippi has killed bills making it simpler for illegals to obtain drivers licenses. The Vermont legislature passed a law in 2013 allowing illegal aliens to drive legally there. Its law required applicants to prove identify and birth date, present a valid SS card, and produce 2 pieces of mail received within the last 30 days showing name and Vermont address. Required is a bank statement and federal tax document as further proof of residency. Vermont authorities launched a statewide investigation into fraudulent applications for drivers licenses by illegal aliens falsely claiming residency there. Its Dept. of Motor Vehicles received 130 falsified applications from illegals residing in other states, more continuing to arrive. The New Mexico governor supports a bill to repeal its 2003 law permitting illegals to obtain drivers licenses because of widespread fraud. According to one legislator, the state issued over 100,000 licenses to illegal aliens, fewer than 17,000 actually going to resident illegals. 40 licenses mailed to one residence. Lying about residency is a felony there, plus perjury charges for falsely attesting at the DMV. The state has indicted many individuals on felony criminal charges, indicting more for creating false lease agreements. New Mexico also nears the top of the list of states having the most uninsured drivers. Illegal alien scammers use these licenses to drive legally and to obtain benefits, in some cases trading licenses for valid ones from states that deny licenses to illegal aliens. Syndicates coordinate this fraudulent activity. Investigating this fraud continually is labor intensive and expensive. If the Nordquist legislation passes, Nebraskans may have to get a passport through the State Department to travel to countries that do not require passports, a costly enterprise, because our drivers licenses, as now, no longer would define or offer proof of legal residence/citizenship.1

Historically, we’ve looked at it that [applicants for a driver’s license] ought to be able to prove citizenship, because we’ve relied upon those driver’s licenses—Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation, Homeland Security Department.
VOTER FRAUD. The federal motor-voter law states that each state drivers license application must serve as an appli- cation for voter registration for federal elections. The Nordquist initiative will allow illegals obtaining licenses to vote in violation of law. Militant immigration groups will use this law to encourage licensed illegal aliens to vote as a bloc.

CONSTITUTIONALLY SUSPECT. Nordquist is wasting legislative debating time when lawsuits seeking to overturn this amnesty are passing through the federal court system. A Texas federal judge has blocked the Obama executive order. Congress never has created or agreed to this deferred amnesty status, citing its unconstitutionality. An ACLU lawsuit against our state to force issuance of drivers licenses to illegals failed on constitutional grounds.
TAKE ACTION NOW. Illegal aliens are not eligible for NE drivers licenses issued to state residents, because federal law prohibits illegals from establishing legal residence in states. Urge your state senator to vote NO on LB 623 that offers valid Nebraska driving documents to illegal aliens. Though born here, they do not deserve the same privileges that lawful NE citizens enjoy, on the roadways, in employment, or in our educational institutions. Use the above talking points to lobby your senator today! Email for state senator contact information.

FURTHER LEGISLATIVE STEPS. Urge your state senator to revise state statutes to refuse to issue reciprocal drivers licenses to illegal alien applicants from states that license illegals. Ask your congressman to support legislation by Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ.) that would prevent all federal agencies from accepting as ID drivers licenses and state ID cards issued by states to illegals.
Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 3-15.

Previous post:

Next post: